In an interview on Wednesday 29 March, Baroness Warsi confuses Israel with a terrorist cell and manages to offend all dual citizens of the UK.
In a comment, she said:
“One of the questions I asked the Foreign Office was that we have a distinction between state actors and non-state actors.
“If you go out there and fight for any group, you will be subject to prosecution when you get back. If you go out and fight for Assad, I presume, under our law, that is okay. That can’t be right.”
“The only reason we allow the loophole to exist is because of the IDF [Israel Defence Forces], because we are not brave enough to say if you hold British citizenship, you make a choice. You fight for our state only. That has to go out strong.”
She goes on to say that she “fundamentally believe[s] that [the UK] policy towards Israel is flawed.”
What is flawed Baroness Warsi? The fact that the UK government does not treat Israel as a terrorist group but rather a legally recognised state by the United Nations? The fact that there is a difference between British nationals fighting in the IDF and other Western armies and fighting in terrorist groups? The fact that I mention ‘other Western armies’ when you don’t care about who fights for them, only who fights for Israel?
The only thing flawed is Baroness Warsi’s comments, not the British government’s, and certainly not British nationals joining the IDF to fight the same terror groups as Britain.
Responding to Warsi’s comments, Luke Akehurst, Director of We Believe in Israel, said: “Baroness Warsi’s comments are completely unacceptable and appear to imply that there is no distinction between ISIS and the armed forces of a democratic state subject to the rule of law. Warsi completely ignores the fact that the UK and Israel are fighting on the same side against terrorism, cooperating closely in defence and intelligence with Israeli technology protecting British soldiers in battle.
These comments are not only an attack on the legitimacy of the State of Israel but on British Nationals with dual citizenship. British-Israeli nationals should be free to comply with Israeli law and fulfil their civic duty to join the Israeli army without being penalised in the UK. Would Baroness Warsi have the same problem if British citizens joined the US, German or French army?”
Conservative Friends of Israel Honorary President, Lord Polak said: “To equate the actions of the Israeli Defense Force and non-state actors that can include vile terror groups such as Daesh is misguided. This blasé attitude is both careless and shows a total lack of understanding of the only true democracy in the Middle East”